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Part #1 - The Before

Do you ever feel overwhelmed? Anxious? So many things to do, but can't because you don't know where/how to start? ---- This is going to be a long one, so you are forewarned. Also, mature language, opps.

I've felt that way most of my life, and I still struggle with it from time to time. But through trial and error, I've figured out a few key things that have helped me a LOT! Now, I'm no doctor and every single person is different. But I thought if sharing what I do could help just one person, it would be worth it.

Let's begin in, let's call it, The Before. In The Before, I would procrastinate, avoid, and hide. Dishes piled HIGH, laundry overflowing, stuff just everywhere and my mental health was total trash. This mess and chaos would stress me out so much and cause me soooo much anxiety that I would procrastinate, avoid, and hide even more. Literally, DAYS where I didn't leave the bed or couch other than to use the bathroom and maybe eat. And don't even ask me about my personal hygiene, because it went right out the fucking window. If I didn't have work, I was staying in my sweats for one...two... three days? Who knows, it's kind of a blur. Eventually, I'd snap out of it and power clean my whole house in one day. But then the cycle would just start over.... always starting with a few dishes in the sink or some other small 'mess' and snowball from there.

Also, in The Before, my sleep was all over the place. Sometimes I'd stay up all night (I really mean ALL night, not just late) binge watching TV or playing one of my video games. Or I would sleep for 12+ hours. Neither of these were good for me, or healthy for that matter. I'd nap a lot too, throwing any sort of schedule I had into spirals. I remember my sleep being so out of whack, that I would purposefully stay up for 24+ hours to "reset" my clock.

Basically, The Before, was fucking chaos. It was unhealthy, overwhelming, embarrassing, life-threatening, turmoil-causing, self-destructing, self-sabotaging, heart-breaking, painful, miserable, soul-crushing. I think you get the idea. I hid this all VERY well. Never talked about it. If people were coming over, my house was clean. I did well at my job and was social. For all intents and purposes, I was thriving and happy. I might also add, that with James' work schedule, I successfully hid this from him for a LONG time. I'd just pull my shit together for the week or so that he was home. But behind that curtain we all put up to the outside world, my life was pitiful. It was like being cemented to the ground and watching a road roller coming towards you slowly but surely, watching to see if you are going to cut your legs off and run or be flattened into the hot asphalt.

Along came Valentine, and sure enough, he cut my legs right the fuck off. I knew I had to change, because it wasn't just me now and there was no way in hell I was raising my son up in that chaos. But change isn't easy, and it doesn't happen overnight. Valentine will be two in January, and I've just reached the point where I feel good, at least good enough to share my story. I still have 'bad days', we all do. But mine are few and far between and don't send me into a downward spiral of dishes, dirt, and despair like they used to.

What did I do? How did I change? Lots of trial and error, that's for sure and having a tiny human that depends on me gave me my motivation. I attribute my success to three main things: routine, sleep schedule, and time management. Going into this change I knew I wanted 1. to do it alone, 2. to do it without medication, and 3. to be able to sustain my new habits and day-to-day life.

Tomorrow, I'll tell you about my three lifesavers. Thanks for reading!

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